Thursday, July 7, 2016

HPSO open garden on Sauvie Island

As I've mentioned another season of garden touring is upon us, happy times these! Somewhere, sometime I'd seen images of Flicker Farm, the garden of Linda Wisner and Chet Orloff and when I saw they were opening for HPSO members I made it a priority to visit.

I'm glad I did.

From the HPSO members open garden book: "Come explore our 1.3-acre Sauvie Island home. Walk through gates sculpted by Ray Huston into the magical world of Flicker Farm, the heart of which is a Mediterranean-meets-Pacific-Northwest courtyard. From the shady borders and beds in the front, to the herb garden and berms, to the meadows and native plant hedgerows beyond, there is much to discover. By late summer, towering amaranth stalks punctuate the scene and vegetable gardens are overflowing. You'll find plenty of places to sit awhile, from a dry-stacked stone bench in front, to a cluster of Adirondack chairs under the contorted mulberry, to the birch grove..."

I walked through that fabulous mystery door above and discovered a tall mini-grove of Tetrapanax, reaching up up up, beyond the roof of the house. But then quickly retreated because I had the feeling I was in an off-limits area. Of course that wasn't the case, but that's how it felt in the moment.

Back out "front" the proper way to enter the garden.

Schefflera delavayi, one of my "litmus test" plants, they're in!

There's a part of me that fantasizes about living on Sauvie Island. And not just because it's the location of Cistus Nursery (although really, wouldn't that be nice!)

No it's more about the open space, the rural living just minutes from downtown. And Cistus. Really.

But enough about that. Check out this amazing garden!

Wine grapes!

And a tricked out greenhouse. Pretty fabulous.

There is a lot of twisted metal to be found throughout the garden. I wonder if it's all the work of Ray Huston, the fellow credited with the entry gate (which we'll see just a bit of later)...?

Only in a garden this large would a dead tree be left as art. It works though, don't you think?

This tree was magical...

Both the leaves and the bark.

And thankfully there was a tag, hidden, but visible if you're looking. Alnus glutinosa 'Imperialis' aka Imperialis Cutleaf European Alder. Nice to make your acquaintance.

Very nice indeed...

Moving on...

What an interesting combination...Cotinus (smoke bush) on the right and a Physocarpus (ninebark) on the left.


This is a corner of the entry gate mentioned earlier. I took a ton of photos but due to the harsh lighting this was the only one of any value.

More of the squiggly metal pieces...

Another reminder that I need to purchase several Eryngium 'Sapphire Blue'

And that's a wrap. Beautiful garden don't you think? Thanks to Linda and Chet for opening!

All material © 2009-2016 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Proximity to Cistus Nursery is a great enough reason to relocate to Sauvie Island!

    Lovely plantsmans garden, with a tasteful sprinkling of ornaments just enough to add interest without detracting from the main stars.

    1. The commute wouldn't even be too bad for Andrew!

  2. Wow - what is the plant in the second and third photos?

    1. Paris polyphylla:

  3. Really nice! Love some of this metalwork! Plants just look better when stuff like that is mixed in, don't they? I'm also coveting the upright stature of all of the plants right now...

    1. Ya my heart hurt for you when I saw your photos today. We're having an uncharacteristic bout of rain right now, so some of our plants are flopping as well.

  4. Much to love about this garden! They're living the dream on Sauvie Island! I love how rural it feels there, with all the growing fields and produce places just minutes from downtown.

    1. The best of both worlds! I have no desire to live somewhere really rural (been there, done that) but Sauvie Island is different.

  5. I was lucky enough to visit this garden last summer. Nice to see it again here. I have a friend who just moved to the island and she is in heaven.

  6. Oh, that conservatory...

  7. Great shot of the poppy seed pods. Looks like a lovely garden, too bad the sun wasn't cooperating for better photos of the gate, it looks fabulous. And...since when have you ever retreated from an off-limits area?

  8. I'm glad you visited, too. And thanks for sharing the highlights of your encounter with this graceful garden. Love the mystery door!

  9. whenever I'm at Cistus, I have fantasies that I live there. My blood pressure always goes down when I'm at that place...

  10. The patio and the greenhouse space is so wonderful.

  11. Thanks for the garden tour. It's all amazing.


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